Judge: Hood still cannot resume State Farm probe

A federal judge has extended a restraining order that prevents Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood from continuing a criminal investigation into State Farm Insurance Cos.’ handling of Hurricane Katrina claims, a company spokesman said.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Parker made the decision on the temporary restraining order Wednesday, though it was not announced in open court, State Farm spokesman Jonathan Freed said.

The insurer sued the outspoken attorney general in September to stop Hood from reopening a criminal case or continuing grand jury hearings over allegations the company fraudulently handled policyholders’ claims after the August 2005 storm.

Clarion Ledger